Navigation Links
Heartburn Meds May Often Be Taken for Too Long, at Too-High Doses

FRIDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. veterans with chronic heartburn are often prescribed higher-than-recommended doses of medicines to control the condition and many are kept on the drugs far too long, according to a new study.

Researchers looked at 1,600 veterans who were diagnosed with chronic heartburn -- also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) -- and prescribed a type of drug called a "proton pump inhibitor," such as Prilosec (omeprazole).

GERD arises when the ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach fails to close properly, allowing stomach acids to splash up into the esophagus. The main symptom is chronic heartburn.

These drugs -- which also include Prevacid (lansoprazole) and Nexium (esomeprazole) -- are among the most widely used drugs in the United States and provide relief for many patients with chronic heartburn. However, proper prescribing is required to avoid prolonged and unnecessary use, according to study first author Dr. Andrew Gawron, a fellow in the gastroenterology division and the Center for Healthcare Studies at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in Chicago.

He and his colleagues found that most of the veterans in the study received more than a three-month initial supply of proton pump inhibitor medication and that nearly one-quarter of them were given high doses.

Only a few of the patients who were started on a high dose of this kind of medication had reductions in dosing more than two years after their initial prescription, according to the study published Feb. 16 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

The researchers noted that it is recommended that proton pump inhibitors be prescribed at the lowest effective dose for the first four to eight weeks. If symptoms persist after eight weeks, doctors should try to find other potential causes of symptoms and different types of treatment.

"We should always have a reevaluation after an initial prescription and ask, 'Does this patient need to be on this medication?'" Gawron said in a university news release.

However, he said this study shows that "once these veterans are prescribed a [proton pump inhibitor], they are rarely taken off of it. Two years after their initial prescription, most are still on the drug."

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about GERD.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Northwestern University, news release, Feb. 20, 2013

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Chronic Heartburn Could Spur Asthma in Some Patients
2. Remedies For Heartburn
3. How Heartburn No More Can Help People Treat Acid Reflux Permanently - Tony Nguyen
4. Tips for Holiday Heartburn Relief
5. Untreated Heartburn May Raise Risk for Esophageal Cancer, Study Says
6. Chronic Heartburn May Boost Risk for Esophageal Cancer
7. Patients Often Ill-Informed on Impact of Heart Device
8. Watch and Wait Approach Often Best for Older Patients With Kidney Cancer
9. Alcohol abusers depression often related to drinking
10. Shift to Hospice Care Often Comes Too Late, Study Finds
11. School Bullies Often Popular, Survey Finds
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Heartburn Meds May Often Be Taken for Too Long, at Too-High Doses
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The American Society for Clinical Pathology ... World AIDS Day 2015. On Nov. 30, ASCP shared its “Give a minute. Get ... AIDS Day and the importance of getting tested for HIV. , ASCP has asked ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... While powdered ... results in wasted time. Fortunately, an inventor from Chesterfield, Va., has found an easy ... to keep the scoop used to measure powdered contents in a canister or other ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... to its industry-leading suite of automated breast density assessment and enterprise analytics ... meeting, November 29-December 4, 2015 (South Hall booth #2377). Volpara’s quantitative breast ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... for “Value-Based Payer-Provider Partnerships: Three Case Studies,” an upcoming Dec. 8 virtual ... Essentia Health and UCare, MissionPoint Health Partners, and Intel Corp. Leaders from ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Insightra Medical, Inc. ... Surgical Mesh technology for soft tissue repair in the US via Insightra’s national ... resorbable surgical mesh intended to support and reinforce soft tissue for 6-9 months ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... Belgium , Nov. 30, 2015   VolitionRx ... on developing blood-based diagnostic tests for a broad range of ... present at the LD Micro Conference, which will be held ... Attending from VolitionRx will be David Kratochvil ... , Vice President of Investor Relations. ® ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Israel , Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... on acquiring and developing innovative therapies for ear, nose, ... Keith A. Katkin as chairman of the ... , chief executive officer for OticPharma, Ltd.  "Keith brings ... chairman, he will be able to share this experience ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... 29, 2015   Royal Philips  (NYSE: PHG, AEX: ... at the 2015 Radiological Society of North America Annual ... Place in Chicago . Visitors to ... company,s broad portfolio of integrated Diagnostic Imaging, Clinical Informatics, ... clinical performance, improve workflow and create a superior patient ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: